Tagged: women

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v21

I survived last week’s crush of events to celebrate AAPI heritage month. It’s always a lovely time re-connecting and forging new relationships with those who are interested in uplifting the AAPI community. There are 21 million AAPIs and we represent 6% of the population so we’re encouraging talented individuals to look at public service as a career. Oftentimes, you’ll find people who aren’t interested in running for office because the sacrifice to run and be in the public eye can be daunting.  Compared to pop culture, the majority of elected officials are not “Frank Underwood” or “Fitzgerald Grant”. As a political consultant, I can attest to not ever stealing an election or playing dirty to win. To make policy and politics “sexy”, writers have schemed scenarios that are simply way past anything that any boring campaign/election could ever contrive, with the possible exception of the 2016 presidential election. When faced with squeaky clean candidates, policy discussions and the minutiae of facts and figures can be boring. That doesn’t really draw people’s attentions. If during opposition research, you find information that can be used against your opponent, do you?  Whose the messenger? How is that executed? As a political consultant, I’m still a human being. I may compartmentalize my own emotions to work with a candidate/public official but that doesn’t affect how I treat them as a client. I’m helping them to sell their views and ideas, not mine. I’m certainly not going to do anything to jeopardize my reputation and relationships and most definitely I’m not going to jail for them by doing an illegal activity just so we win. Understanding the limits of power is also essential to really understanding what it means to be an elected official. I go to bed at night with a clear conscience that I’m using my skills to help those who are interested in serving people. Working in politics is an honorable profession, regardless of what my counterparts on tv may do.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I get asked about what makes a good candidate and I always say that it’s important to be an active citizen. Regardless of your constituency, you have the ability to be a part of your community. I’m a DC resident and I travel across the country training and speaking about getting involved in your community so that you can think about being a public servant and get into elected office. That being said, I’m not particularly an active citizen in my own neighborhood. I trust the people who are my neighbors to help me make informed decisions about how I should vote about particular initiatives affecting where we live. I quietly volunteer for a local nonprofit and have gotten to know the people who serve our community in the everyday work that they do. If I were to run for ANC Commissioner, I would need to show up to the meetings and listen to the concerns of my fellow neighbors. I would need to understand what challenges we face and the history of the relationships that have gotten us to this point. Listening is a key factor to understanding what needs aren’t being addressed and learn how I might join the already existing infrastructure to help get those concerns remedied. If you didn’t already know, I read music and have performed for many years playing guitar and have taken many years of voice lessons, particularly in opera. My voice instructor suggested that I switch it up and take jazz instruction. Well, that was a novel idea because as a performer or instrumentalist, I’m supposed to play the music as it’s written and most people have an idea that jazz is an impromptu performance. Let me inform you that it is and it isn’t. In my jazz class, it was required that we learn the pieces as written and then and only then were we allowed to “blow it up”. In other words, learn it as it was intended and then bring your own spin. I can say the same thing about politics and activism. Being an elected official doesn’t mean you are a know-it-all. Most people like the humble aspect of public servants and when you see a problem, learn from the people who have spent years/decades/more time than you on trying to solve the situation before you decide to blow it all up. Although I don’t know the particulars of this election, it’s my understanding that a younger person challenged an older more established person who was the sitting mayor and won. People voted for the younger person in the primary because it appeared from the article that the young person had spent a lot of his youth tending to the needs to the community by revitalizing an amphitheater and voters paid attention to this individual’s enthusiasm for their shared hometown. That is the kind of candidate you want to be, regardless of age, ethnic background etc..

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  • For all those who are in leadership positions in non-profits please take heed of these myth busters. So important that we don’t perpetuate the ugly cycle that causes all of us to have burnout creep. For those who work in non-profits, share it with your leadership so that they can understand that it’s not meant to be normal. Campaigns with its limited life span has similar attitudes but we campaign hacks know that it will last for only so long because election day is looming. There is a way to have work life balance and work shouldn’t consume your life, unless you’re an entrepreneur and it’s just a way of life (totally different topic with a broad array of answers & attitudes).

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  • Going back to the basics when you need to de-stress. Make time for family/loved ones and your tribe who will help you re-charge and release negative energy. I try to not complain because life is bound to have peaks and valleys and so goes work. I enjoy politics and the energy that comes from it (#politicscanbefun) so when there comes a point to when I wonder why I’m doing something, I remind myself of why I got into this industry in the 1st place.

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  • I haven’t yet watch The Handmaid’s Tale (am I the only one?) but I read the book many years ago when I was a college freshman and it was required reading (considering that I went to an all women’s college, Newcomb College of Tulane University, it makes complete sense). Just like in feminism, solidarity to the sisterhood is defined by power and where you are in proximity to it. This article really reflects on how the women villains are so terrifying. This fictionalized novel will hopefully never become reality, however we have had very real situations in history where the women villains have played a significant role. Think back to the Holocaust, slavery, the civil rights movement and there are women who are complicit in the evils that were enacted.

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  • Going from women villains to SHEROS because these Latinas are investing in other women. This gives me so much energy and I love sharing the accomplishments of women, especially those from diverse backgrounds. These stories are about inclusiveness and bringing new stories to the table.

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  • My alma mater graduated over this past weekend – Go Tulane 2017 graduates from this 1994 graduate! Which means that there will soon be an influx of interns and new graduates commandeering the halls of Congress, the streets of DC and the metro tunnels. Every year I want to take a group of these young professional women and give them my 2 cents on what is deemed professional attire. Each industry has their standard and it’s totally up to you if you want to blend in or stand out. What’s important is that you have a work attitude that goes with your attire, one that screams, “I’m a go-getter and I have the brains to match this awesome outfit too”. People will take you seriously if you look the part with your own personality thrown in for good measure. Here are other professional women’s suggestions on what to wear if you’re an intern or if you’re starting your first career job. For the record, most people say that I always look “dressed up” (trust me, I’m not wearing a ball gown) but their definition of “dressed up” is just my regular way of putting on my armor (white hat not included, Scandal reference BTW). Occasionally I’ll get mistaken for a Member of Congress and that’s probably more a combination of someone confusing me for a real Member of Congress, the way I dress & my demeanor. That tells me that I’m wearing clothes that allows people to make that assumption because if I dressed like a “stereotypical intern” then people would mistake me for one.

Thanks for sharing/reading! If you enjoy the posts, please LIKE Arum Group on Facebook! Appreciate the support 🙂

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v20

May is Asian American Heritage Month and there are a lot of cultural and political festivities to celebrate the AAPI story. Tuesday night will be Asian Prom, where a lot of my colleagues and luminaries will be all gussied up. There’s a lot of going out and networking – just perfect for the introvert in me 🙂 Needless to say, I know how to harness my energy to make it most useful to me. There’s a whole political fundraising schedule for these kinds of events. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has their legislative conference in September while the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute does a series of events during Hispanic Heritage month (September 15-October 15) as well. I was asked by a male colleague if I bought a new dress every time I had to attend these galas and my answer is that I have a closest dedicated to formal attire and my dresses go into rotation. It’s a good thing that Facebook has the memories feature because I can see what years I wore what dress. The dress that I’m wearing for the Tuesday night gala is a dress that I pulled from the archives. I think the last time I wore it, I attended a CHCI gala and there aren’t any photos of me in it so it’s new to you! It also helps that I have generally stayed the same size throughout the years so I can continue what’s in my closet without having to do too much damage on my wallet.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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  • I have always said during the many trainings I’ve done that working on campaigns is like working in a start up many many times over during each election cycle. Generally, there’s not a lot of institutional knowledge and the “adult(s)” in the room are in the late 30s-60ish age group. There’s a lot of young people who are looking to move ahead. The big difference is that election cycles are short and when you work in an organization such as a start up, the payoff can be much later. The similarities, however are tremendous. So when you’re looking for a raise, take heed of some of these points and you’ll see that you have a lot ahead of you.

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  • I’m all for women empowerment and showing solidarity for my sister friends who are battling against misogyny. So when people decide that women who are not supportive of other women who are advocating policies that adversely affect women and discriminate against groups due to their bigotry, are anti-woman or not a feminist, I get extremely annoyed. Remove the gender factor and you are left with a person whose values I whole heartedly disagree with on a very base level. It’s almost the equivalent to when I work with AAPI candidates. First and foremost, my values don’t change when it comes to the ethnicity of a candidate. If you share the same values as me and you’re “fill in the blank“, then we’re going to get a long just fine. I may want more AAPIs and communities of color represented in elected office but I will not actively work with someone who advocating for anything remotely related to discriminatory views – selective sexism.

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  • From time to time, I do #ootd posts on my instagram. In all honesty, I am decidedly less creative in the winter months with my wardrobe selection than when the temperatures get warmer. Getting the chance to layer up and to wear more summer attire is more appealing than throwing on a sweater and pants on the regular. However the warmer months also means dealing with humid DC afternoons and office buildings that over compensate with cranking up the air conditioning. I’m fortunate that I don’t necessarily follow the skirt suit uniform so if you’re looking for creative inspiration for what professional attire you can wear in the summer then look no further. Elle magazine is sharing 11 women and their go-to outfits for the summer. #8 and #10 are my favorites!

Got any questions for me? Drop me a note in the comment section or send me an email!

Thanks for reading/sharing! See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v18

For my people, “Happy APAHM 2017!” – for those who don’t know – it’s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month so we’re in full gear to celebrate AAPI contributions to society. So let’s whoop it up, my fellow AAPIs because our heritage deserves recognition for its many accomplishments.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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  • When your mind is racing and you spend too much time analyzing the situation and then mulling it over some more, you may find that the iron is no longer hot and the moment has passed. It’s understandable to take the time to do a risk assessment but sometimes you gotta jump in the deep end and learn to swim. Paralysis can set in and you end up not doing anything at all. Learn the ways you can stop overthinking in its tracks via Business Insider.

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  • I can not say enough good things about this article by Chris Fralic. A frequently asked question from those who want to run for office is how to authentically connect with people when they’re preparing for a run in the future. It may not happen that year or even in the next 2 years so trying to connect with a lot of people without a lot of breadth can seem very shallow. This article really accentuates the pure aspect of connecting with people. It talks about the “hunted” and in my world, this means donors and influencers to networks who can broaden your scope as a candidate. It’s so important to do a bit of research of your prospect because you need to understand why it makes a good fit for them. Learn these techniques and you’ll build a network that will respond to your requests vs a list of names who won’t be bothered. This is a MUST READ and a terrific reference that you can continue to use throughout your career.

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  • Connecting with people also works in job interviews. Hiring managers already know that there are a number of qualified people for the jobs they need to fill. How do they filter out applicants? By determining if their 1st round of picks have the kind of personality and work ethic that will fit in with the company culture and make for a more productive team. Who wants to have a team member who slows everyone’s progress? It’s important to show personality outside from the standard questions because well prepared applicants will know what they need to say to get into the next round, but how does that make them the best applicants? By connecting with the people who are interviewing them and actively listening for cues where they can find an opening to connect. via Fast Company

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  • Are you interested in learning the basics on political fundraising? I’m preparing to launch a FREE webinar on the 411 on Political Fundraising so sign up here if you’re interested in registering.

Thanks for reading/sharing and if I can get a LIKE on Facebook, I’d appreciate it! See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v17

I spent part of my weekend attending a training, partly to observe and partly to participate as a trainer. It was delightful to see the enthusiasm and the energy from across the progressive spectrum in electing a Democratic ticket in the Commonwealth of Virginia. People who were new to the area as well as long time residents were brought together with the intent to make voters aware of how they can become more involved in the electoral process as well as to train people on how campaigns work. Spectacular job for those who organized this summit and kudos to all those who participated on a Sunday. Active citizenry in action!

 

Let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

  • This story was shared with me as part of a group that supports Executive Directors of organizations. The purpose of the group is to give one another space to vent, ask questions for best practices, and share triumphs without judgement. An article about the NoVo Foundation was shared and it brought so much joy. Can you see a future where we reach organizational capacity so that organizations that support girls and women of color can make their own decisions on how to utilize funds? That day will come. Listen up everyone else and take note!

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  • In campaigns, we recognize that there is a shelf life. We tell people that politics is a young person’s business because you work for low pay and you’re constantly on the road. Who wants to spend hours and hours on a campaign when you can have more stability and sleep in your own bed? Especially when you hit your late 20s and early/mid 30s. It’s much harder in politics to find stability in the institutional organizations. People tend to cap out by their 20s/early 30s and then you have to decide if you want to stay in this industry or make it on your own or join someone else’s shop. It’s much more challenging to think of what senior leadership looks like when you start to reach the upper echelons of campaign life. Now think about throwing in your gender. In a corporate environment, women are found to be “uninterested” in senior leadership due to the office culture. It’s how the office operates that causes women to feel disenfranchised from the opportunity to grow higher in management. That’s soul crushing and leads to women leaving those types of environments.

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  • No one believes me when I tell them that I’m a procrastinator. Honestly, I really admit to it. How do I defeat it? By making my intention public and by exceeding it. People have such expectations of me which then causes me to have expectations on myself. I’m a variant of a people pleaser (hard to believe when most of the time, I more of a “Who gives a F*CK”). As a result, I end up beating my procrastination because I value my reputation. Needless to say, I just learned that procrastination is part of your genetic makeup! Thanks parentals. So it’s not really me that’s procrastinating, it’s all of that historic DNA 😉

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  • You are not a show-off when you talk about your accomplishments. Rinse. Repeat. Sharing how you bring value to an organization highlights how you can help them achieve their goals. Learn to self promote because if you ever want to be an entrepreneur or shape ideas to how you want to implement things then you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable the first 5 or 50 times it takes for you to talk about you. Want to run for office? Yes, it means talking about how your skills and experience can help others. What are you waiting for? Seriously, if you need help in this area, you can sign up for a 30 minute free consultation with me during my virtual “office hours”. Drop me a note!

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  • I learned recently that the Millennial generation is considered up to 37 years of age. I didn’t realize that it was that high up the age group. So if you fall into this category and are looking for a job, you may find this article of interest. I grew up in an era where my life wasn’t fully documented at all times. We weren’t ‘gramming, texting, Facebooking, snapping etc…I pretty much didn’t have to worry about documentation of my life. I was so against cameras for a while that when The Mister and I eloped, we brought a camera to the courthouse and didn’t use it. BTW cameras are not allowed in the DC district courthouse unless you’re getting married. So I don’t even have documentation of when I really got married! Now, you can pretty much see what I’m wearing on a near daily basis. If you have long term goals of being in public office or what your future bosses may think of your youth, lock it down. Privacy settings or not documenting a less than spectacular moment would be a wise decision. You are a brand and what you share determines that brand regardless of what you say about your brand. Actions speak louder and a picture are worth a thousand words. Be like Beyoncé and have an aura of mystery. She doles out information on her life with a strategic hand. Who wouldn’t want to follow Queen Bey’s lead?

It’s been a hoot! I’ll see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v15

In the midst of this month, I’m on the road traveling every week so there’s a lot to do on my schedule. I was in Boston over the weekend to do a training and was energized by the work of the participants who want to get more politically engaged in their areas. It was also incredibly rewarding to see young AAPI women in high school and college who are already leading the way and who have a desire to do more. BIG LOVE to all those who participated in the training and who are making strides to increase their political engagement. #AAPIResist

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

Being able to grow with a company can be important to your career & Sheryl Sandberg has a quick tip career advice. My 2 cents is that you should spend time with your manager/supervisor to get their feedback on how you can strengthen your weaker areas. I usually spend time with my staff so that they can get an assessment so that I can also learn from them what we can do better as a team in communicating ideas and what they want to learn. Having this kind of conversation in professional development prepares you for when you need to do a formal performance review.

Need to learn sound leadership advice? These definitely fit the bill. I’m always working to be more well rounded so that I can be more self aware and better in bringing forth an environment that allows for creativity and innovation.

Over the weekend, I was conducting a campaign management training and we started talking about the Myers Briggs test (I’m an INTJ BTW). The ability to analyze a situation through intuition or data is really the basis for how we made decisions. That’s why when we train political operatives, we talk about the head and the heart. It’s a combination of data and street smarts that creates political strategy. Intuition plays a valuable role in making these decisions.

Assertiveness is an important asset. Knowing when to use it is just as important as being a leader itself. Men are lauded for it and women are considered…loud @_@ Whatever! I’m all for saying what needs to be said when it needs to be said. My demeanor in meetings is basically a sit and listen. I want to hear what’s happening and when questions come to mind, I write them down so that I can voice them when it’s appropriate. My role as a fundraiser is all about being assertive. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be able to raise money. Making asks as well as following up on commitments demands that you enter into uncomfortable situations, whether for you or with others. Time to get jiggy wit it and get comfortable with getting out there.

When it’s time to depart from your job, you’ll need to give notice. That means telling your boss and handing in a resignation letter. Honestly, you’ll feel like you’re riding a roller coaster and your stomach is probably doing backflips. It’s normal. I had a boss who was considered a bit of a curmudgeon but he was also a teddy bear. Understanding how they will react can also help tailor the approach in which you deliver the news. He was fine afterwards and I probably was a little overly concerned to how he would react. I’ve had to inform clients that I wouldn’t renew contracts. Just as awkward and I still have to see them at events for other clients. No need to burn bridges because you never know when you’ll have to cross the bridge again for a future opportunity.

Politics can be seen as a popularity contest. In a lot of cases, people are attracted to the virtues that include high energy and charisma. Humble may prove to be more rewarding but it doesn’t necessary highlight the “superhero” in the way that a narcissistic leader does. Read more to why we make this kind of choice in our leaders.

I think I made $26,000 a year when I had my 1st job at the DNC which was over 20 years ago! Here’s what women are making now after they graduated from college and the industry standard. #Adulting is challenging!

Thanks for reading/sharing! If you haven’t already, please subscribe – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v14

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the GW Women In Business Spring Conference about Entrepreneurship.

Here are some of my thoughts about the questions that they asked:

Introduce yourself:
I am a political campaign strategist and I help people get elected to office. (Going back to the templates of ways that you can introduce yourself in under 20 words).

What is a risk you have taken in your career path?:
I got into politics and then I left politics to pursue a job in another industry which I thought was interesting (I started a catering business & worked in a James Beard winning restaurant) and then I left the hospitality industry because I wanted to get back into politics. My career hasn’t been linear. I’ve left my 1st career choice because I felt burnout and I thought I needed to try something different that I thought was my passion. It taught me to maintain relationships and to listen to my instincts. It’s OK to not have all the answers and even when you think you know what you want to do, you may find that it’s not cracked up to be in reality. Everything in life is a learning experience and you can do whatever you set your mind to do, but you also need to recognize what makes you passionate about your work. Since my return to politics, I haven’t had the sense of burnout like when I was in my 20s because I better understand myself and my limits. That’s not to say that my goals won’t evolve into something totally different from where I once started. That’s life – people change and how they want to approach life. “If you get tired, learn to rest not quit.” – Banksy

What advice do you have for students who have a passion for starting their own business but fear that it won’t achieve long term success?:
Have a clear vision and definition of your success. Success is a personal goal. Do not become consumed in comparison to someone else’s instagrammable life. Long term success can be 6 months, it can be 2 years, 4 years, 15 years – a lifetime – it’s all up to you. If you know that you have a quality product or service that resolves a challenge or is innovative then you can go to the market place ready to compete. Try to be socially responsible. Always be a student and learn from others. I still take other people’s classes on subject matters where I’m considered the subject matter expert. I don’t have the answers to everything and neither should you.

How did your experiences in college and your early career impact your drive to create the Arum Group?:
When I was a child, I skipped a grade and later tested into a math and science high school program. I was an athlete and was student body president. So, I was basically every single Type A person with the grades and extracurricular activities to go with it. My father passed away when I was 15 and from that moment, I became an adult. Fast forward to turning 17 then starting college 4 months later so I have always been quite independent. I was a bit naive which only helped me to dive into the deep end without much fear. I was fortunate that I was raised with enough praise and expectation that whatever vision I had for myself was always positive and that my own ambition wasn’t questioned. My parents instilled in me that I have value and that whatever project/job/career I chose, I would make an impact. So that’s a lot of self worth. Temper that with a bit of curiosity, willingness to learn things that I knew were my weaknesses and a lot of go get it attitude. All of these ingredients mixed together with a dash of I don’t want to have one boss created Arum Group. I couldn’t find a job that allowed me to be the things that I knew that I could be so I created my own luck (with everything that I try to do) so that it could lead me to the opportunities that started my own consulting firm. There are times when I think I want to close up shop but I know that I wouldn’t be happy so I have to continue to create opportunities that I find fulfilling so that Arum Group can be a company that fulfills my definition of success.

If you’re beginning your professional journey and in your 20s, you have a lot of life ahead of you to experience a lot of different things and even as you get older, you need to keep learning. Like I mentioned earlier, you need to be willing to be a student at every opportunity. A former colleague of mine was featured in the NYT about her journey as a seasoned professional at 52 and how she used her network to find the right opportunity for her.

Do you have any questions you want answered about being an entrepreneur or working in politics? Drop me a line and I’ll give them a go!

More Tuesday Truths!

It’s #EqualPayDay and we “celebrate” it so that people can be made aware of the causes and impact that are created by the gender wage gap between women and men. I’ll be training about Salary Negotiation in DC and if you can’t make that training, my colleague and friend, Tanya Tarr will be doing a free webinar on Negotiating as well. There are ample opportunities to get trained in these skills so take advantage of learning how to value your worth. If you can’t join either activity, you can read how science teaches us when to make the first offer.

Since I was talking about Entrepreneurship to a Women’s Conference, I wanted to highlight the challenges that women face in this space and guess what, the challenges are somewhat similar to what women face when running for elected office: ability to raise capital for their venture (campaign fundraising), starting earlier in life, as well as how women spend more time as a caretaker.

There are days when I can’t get my sh*z together and need to reflect on how I can better optimize my day. If I ever get to this point, can someone send me a life preserver filled with a trunk load of vodka or gin? I’d rather drown drinking a cocktail, thank you very much!

Thanks for reading/sharing & let me know what’s going on in in your world!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v13

Last week was a roller coaster ride. Luckily it ended on a high note with the AHCA pulled from a vote. Constituents must use their voices to convey their concerns. Concerted efforts cause elected officials to take notice. Do not allow people to make you feel that your voice or your vote doesn’t matter because you are not alone. Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Most people know that I am the Advisory Council for the Women’s Information Network (WIN) and from time to time, they invite me to write in their monthly newsletter. In this month’s edition, I shared my thoughts on the need for “Activist Mentoring”. In my opinion, the political climate calls for all of us to help individuals more collectively and for individuals who are seeking mentors to think beyond their personal/professional goals. You can read more here. Since I’m continuing down the mentor/mentee path, here are some ways that you can create a mutually beneficial relationship with your mentor. The best mentoring relationships are organic although that can be challenging because it means that the mentee is in search of and must ask a more experienced person to serve in that mentor capacity. Don’t be shy in asking someone for their advice and give them reason to want to help you by taking the additional step of helping them in some capacity.
  • I’ve been sharing a lot of networking tips because the job market is a little whacky and I’m getting asked on a lot of coffees. I’m going to need to start doing official office hours because it’s getting a little too much for my schedule. For me, networking is massaging my list of contacts. Keeping up with them so that I have enough knowledge of what is important in their lives as well as reaching out to new people who I can possibly collaborate with so that we can have a more dynamic relationship that results in net positives for them as well as for me. I believe in making my own luck so when I invest the energy in building a relationship, I know that luck will come back to me in some other forming the future. Good karma does happen and nice guys/gals do not finish last.
  • Later this week, I’ll be speaking at the GW Women in Business Spring Conference about Entrepreneurship with the theme of “Power Your Purpose”. The organizers asked me to share my thoughts on how I challenge myself and using my business to fuel my passion. I realized from an early age that I wanted to be in politics and it has been an adventure. The most important piece for me is that I also want to share what I know. The purpose is finding your “WHY” and living that so joyfully that it compels you to want to share it. I’ve had a lot of opportunity to work with a lot of people and it’s important to me that I can connect people to create bigger and better things. Fundraising is a lot like matchmaking and the more I can find those matches, the better.
  • I may be preaching to the choir but in case the people in the back couldn’t hear, let me share the feminist glossary. To be perfectly honest, it was good to review it because I’m always down to brushing up on the feminist movement. We missing anything?
  • Want to learn more about how women candidates can talk about politics, parenting and their personal lives? The Barbara Lee Family Foundation worked with Lake Research Partners to conduct a survey to find out what voters think about women candidates and how marriage/parenthood affects their decisions as voters to support these candidates. The findings are reflective of a previous post I shared and gives women candidates a sense of how they should present themselves regardless of where they are in life. Fascinating information for any woman who is thinking about running for elected office!
  • A lot of my colleagues have used the word to describe me as “fair”. I’m always working towards fairness and treating people fairly. When people come to me and ask my opinion on a situation, I try to think about the situation from the other person’s perspective and really give it a 360 point of view. I don’t want to be drinking the kool-aid if it doesn’t really help in gaining knowledge into a challenging situation. I’m not a perfect person and there will be times when I don’t care for an individual, but recognize that I need to work with them and Brene Brown’s advice really makes me dig deep into being a better person. Plus it brings back why I strive to be fair.

Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know what you’re working on these days!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v12

We’re past March 15th and that means we’re at the end of the month (in my vision of how the calendar works). So much happened last week – Muslim Ban 2.0 released & halted in court, the U.S. government had to apologize to an ally regarding the “wiretapping” of Trump tower, the Trump budget was released and on top of wanting to cut the EPA/the State Department etc.., the administration also wants to cut funding to Meals on Wheels among other programs that affect the country’s most vulnerable. Stay strong – there’s a lot to do to RESIST!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I recently spoke with a female undergraduate student from my alma mater and commented to her that women tend to want to be 100% qualified for jobs, whether that job is an open position or running for office while men can be less than qualified and still have the confidence to apply for the position. Women applicants are asked how do you juggle motherhood and your career while men rarely get that question. Mothers who are also candidates for elected office are viewed differently than fathers. Traditional caregiving roles are still intact when mothers who run of office are seen as not fulfilling their roles as mothers. At the same time, women candidates are scrutinized for not having children because they aren’t seen as empathetic or as understanding to constituents who do have children. For now, women are always damned regardless of child status.
  • I’m always trying to find ways to be more productive. I write this blog weekly and there are times when I can’t find the time to get it done during the week so I have to spend part of my weekend reading the articles and giving the analysis. This task is definitely related to my work so it should be done during the work week, however it’s so hard to find the time to shut off my phone and not focus on whatever fire is at hand. It’s a bit of a challenge that I’m trying to improve so that I can think creatively and focus on work that requires the most of my brain. I’m typically a morning person so the most difficult tasks should be done during that time of the day. The amount of emails that I send and receive is a crazy amount so I can’t let that be a time suck. My work also requires me to be super detailed oriented (honestly, I think that’s most jobs, right?!) so there are tiny tasks that take up a lot of time. So handling the big hurdles can really make an impact on how the rest of the day goes. Those tiny tasks can be a temptation and it will kill the creativity. You can separate your lists so that you can keep those tasks that take less than 15 minutes on one while the bigger ones are on another. Benjamin Franklin had the 5 hour rule and it allowed him to learn something that was very deliberative. He wasn’t just concerned with the accomplishments but also how that learning would make him better. It’s certainly a different perspective than completing your checklist.
  • When it’s time for a promotion or a performance review, are you prepared to talk about your accomplishments? Have you recorded the metrics of your work and are you prepared to articulate them so that you can show your value to your organization? These factors are important to management recognizing your value so you need to be responsible for your achievements. Highlighting your work isn’t bragging. It’s being self conscious enough to show that there was a metric attained and that you as a member of a team or you were individually responsible for a positive result. Don’t be a worker bee without getting the recognition you deserve.
  • When life gets out of control, I remember that I’m in control of my schedule. Lately, I’ve been a little overly scheduled and I resolved to take back my time. I barely have time that can be considered spontaneous. Included in that equation is that I’m a bit of an introvert so I need time to re-charge after I’ve expended energy in a public event. There are times when I don’t give myself enough time to re-charge and that in itself creates problems. So returning to my mantra of “Giving Zero F*cks”, I’ve realized that I need to protect my time so that I can be a better person and to do it without regret.

What’s up your sleeve this week? Thanks for reading/sharing & see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v11

Are you in the throes of March Madness? You must be thinking that I’m talking about basketball – well, no I’m not but I can see how you would 😉 We’re fast approaching the end of the 1st QTR and we’re 1/4 done with 2017 (thank the stars above!). I honestly thought that this year would drag and in actuality, life is moving much faster than I anticipated.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I recently was on a phone conversation with a congressional candidate who was frazzled and obviously was rushing to get to our appointed call, instead of taking the time to prepare for the call. He confused who introduced us and was talking a mile a minute, where I had to interrupt him and ask a basic statement/question, “Let’s start from the beginning. Who are you and what’s your story?”. It’s not the best way to introduce yourself, no matter who is on the receiving end of the dialogue. I’m 2 people removed from him so I don’t need to give him the benefit of the doubt so nailing your introduction is key to starting your conversation. My business is based around providing strategy to those who want to run for office so I’m unusual in that I’ve heard a lot of pitches. Your story may not be as compelling as others but it can be succinct and tight enough for me to ascertain your experience and why you want to run for office. Refining your introduction takes practice and multiple edits to get the right combination of what describes yourself. Lucky for us there are handy dandy templates for non-political situations so you can rock that introduction. Better yet, you can do it in 20 words or less so that you’re not listing your resume but capturing who you really are in a tight message.
  • If you can introduce yourself in 20 words or less, you can also follow the instructions to apply for a job (which would seem pretty basic to those who are applying for an entry level job or any job for that matter). For those who are applying for entry level positions, give these tips a read because it seems from the author’s experience, there are a lot of inexperienced 1st timers out there applying for jobs.
  • Most people are surprised when I say that I’m an introvert because people tend to see me in settings where I’m with crowds of colleagues and others in our industry. They’re right in that I’m not a full blown introvert and likely more an ambivert that does well in an extroverted setting but needs more recharge time as an introvert. With that context, networking can be challenging for those who are fall solidly in the introvert category. Networking is possible in 20 minutes are less. The version of networking described in this article is really about being around people who basically know you and isn’t networking really a way to deepen relationships and get to know people better? I see it as relationship maintenance. You will still need to pay attention to the larger events, but you can network within your existing circle so that you can deepen relationships or get in touch with those who may have not been touched lately. Maintaining these relationships requires active listening and taking action to show that you were actively listening! I read a lot of articles and sometimes those articles appear in Tuesday Truths, but oftentimes I read an article that will matter to someone in particular to my network. I won’t share it in the weekly post but I will email that person a quick note along with the article. It’s a touch that doesn’t demand a lot of time but has high impact.
  • Life would be so much more productive if meetings didn’t exist. I get why meetings are important. Face to face time to review materials creates stronger team spirit. Conference calls that are more than an hour should be in the 5th circle of hell. My teams and I have started to use Slack so that we can reduce emails. I don’t subscribe to Team Email Zero. I am OCD enough to open emails to read them, but I have a horrible habit of waiting a few minutes to respond because I’m caught up in the middle of something else and then, it’s quite possible that I didn’t respond later. People are going to start to wonder if I’m actually as productive as I say I am 🙂 Being more productive at work means also putting a halt to all of the nonsense that creates more work. That can be challenging if you don’t have a leadership role in your organization but if you frame a situation where you can create more efficiency by showing how your management team can get more done, then perhaps you can start to move your team into a more efficient mind frame.
  • We’re living with more anxiety, whether it’s because we’re seeing the adversity of the current environment or we’re (in)directly affected by loved ones being unemployed, loss of a loved one, or serving as a caregiver. Different stages of life can bring added anxiety of facing a less than lukewarm job market regardless if you’re looking for your first job post graduation or you’ve been in the work force for over 20 years. Here are 5 ways you can relieve anxiety so that you can face those challenges with a renewed spirit.

Thanks to all of you who took the readers survey. You want more anecdotes and skills sets so stay tuned for more of what you want! If you haven’t taken the survey, you still can so share your feedback!

See you back here next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v10

My last day off was on February 26th and I’m looking at Wednesday, March 8th with so much longing. It’s a day where Women can show our strength and I’ll get re-energized knowing that there are Women across the country who will be celebrating/supporting other Women. Here are some ideas that can help you if you can’t take the day off or if you need to have a conversation with your manager about taking the day off. Do you live/work in DC? Here’s a map where you can support women owned businessesWhat are you doing on March 8th?

We’re pausing Tuesday Truths this week to ask if you could do a reader survey! It will help us improve our content as well as better curate the articles that we share with you.

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and tell us how we can improve.

See you back here next Tuesday!

— Madalene